ROCKPORT, Ind (WEHT) Not long after the start of the new school year with students in the classroom, Rockport Elementary has gone virtual due to a COVID outbreak. Virtual classes began on Tuesday and will continue through Friday when school officials will reevaluate.
If they didn’t go virtual, the school says nearly 40-percent of their staff would be out sick or in quarantine. While they strongly believe face to face instruction is best for all students, at this time they feel they needed to move to short term virtual session.
Superintendent Richard Rutherford says the school corporation does not take the decision to go virtual lightly, calling the decision an “extreme measure.” Rutherford says students and staff were excited to start the school year in person and interacting with one another but says “things change pretty quick.” Rutherford is hopeful that their measures will be enough to prevent more virtual learning days.
Across the Tri-State, other school corporations and districts are trying to balance learning needs with safety. On Wednesday, the EVSC began requiring masks in the classroom but Vanderburgh County Health Department Administrator Joe Gries says the real risk for exposure could come from outside the classroom.
Gries says people aged 12-25 have been more hesitant to receive a vaccine and remain at a higher risk for the virus, especially if they decide to gather without masks or in crowds.